Cat INV1250 Spec Review

The Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 1000 W and a starting wattage of 1250 W.

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Description

Take your outdoor adventures to the next level with the Cat® INV1250 portable inverter generator. Inverter technology provides a high-quality power that's safe for your sensitive electronics. Cat® CO DEFENSE™Carbon Monoxide Sensing & Shutdown technology keeps you, your family, and friends safe. (source: Cat (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Cat INV1250

In summary, the Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
  • DIYers who wish to improve their efficiency with tools

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Cat INV1250 in use

The Cat INV1250

The Cat INV1250 is powered by a 60 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 1000W as well as a peak wattage of 1250W. In addition, the device is parallel capable (parallel kit not included) and thus, can be linked to a similar or compatible unit for added power.

With a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a refrigerator), the inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism.

With a fuel capacity of 0.8 gallon, the INV1250 may run for around 7.9 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.1 GPH).

The INV1250 produces a clean sine wave: thanks to a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), your sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlet.

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

In addition, it provides 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports with which charging of electronics like mobile phones and tablets is made convenient.

Portability

Thanks to its closed inverter generator design (L18.3 x W11.5 x H16.6 in), the Cat INV1250, is more esthetical than a typical, open frame generator. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.

With a weight of only 33.1 lbs, the INV1250 may be viewed as a lightweight and portable generator. A single person should not have any problems moving it around and thus, enjoy power availability on-the-go. It can also be carried without effort with a featured handle (molded in the case), further improving its convenience.

Features

Panel of the Cat INV1250

The INV1250's control panel

Some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is on overload, the generator is ready and its oil levels are insufficient.

The inverter generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

From a security standpoint, the product offers an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

The INV1250 also benefits from Cat’s CO DEFENSE™ carbon monoxide shutdown. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Cat INV1250, the following accessories are also included: tool kit, oil and funnel.

Emissions

The Cat INV1250 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.

The Cat INV1250 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat INV1250 compare to generators of similar power (between 500 and 1500 W).

  • As for its weight, the Cat INV1250 weighs only 33.1 pounds, making it one of the lighter generators in the 500-1500 rated wattage category. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the Sportsman GEN1000i, weighing just 20.3 pounds.
  • Since this inverter generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 52 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating similar power. If noise emissions are important to you, one of the least noisy generators of this power range is the Honda EU1000i with only 42 dBA.
  • Given that the INV1250 reaches an autonomy of around 7.9 hours with a full tank and at 50% load, it is placed within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Pulsar PG2000, with around 12 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. At an estimated fuel consumption of 0.1 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this inverter generator is a rather fuel efficient one within its wattage category. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Ryobi RYi1000, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.08 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • CO DEFENSE™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (33.1 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Only 1 AC outlet
  • No electric start

Do you own the Cat INV1250 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine60 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts1000 W
Starting watts1250 W
Running amps8.3 amps
Peaks amps10.4 amps
Run time @50% load7.9 h
Run time @25% loadN/A
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets1x 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankPlastic, 0.8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight33.1 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)18.3 x 11.5 x 16.6 in
Noise (lower limit)52 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel and tool kit
Warranty3 years
Other model numbers501-5453

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About Cat

Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. A majority of the industrial-scale CAT products is made in the USA. However, the production of many of their household products is reported to be outsourced overseas.

Warranty Information

The Cat INV1250 is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total247 W1247 W
For campingRV refrigerator180600
Coffee maker600600
Total780 W1200 W
For workReciprocating saw730960
Total730 W960 W

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